Johnson's resignation as Tory leader not enough, he must leave Number 10 immediately - The Yorkshire Post says

After months of scandal, instability and even criminality, Boris Johnson has finally succumbed to the inevitable and resigned as leader of the Conservative party.

Having received scores of letters of resignation from ministers, the parliamentary party had made it clear to the Prime Minister that his reign in Number 10 had come to an end.

The ignominious end of his premiership comes little over 30 months after the party he led was handed one of the largest majorities in a generation.

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Yet, as has been proven throughout its history, the Conservative party is ruthless in shedding itself of leaders it fears will cause it to lose power and now, for the third time in six years, Britain is looking for a new Prime Minister.

Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson
Boris Johnson

Typically for Mr Johnson, even his resignation has caused controversy.

As he reluctantly stepped down at the lectern outside Number 10, not once did he mention the word “resignation.” He could not. And then we learn that he intends to stay in office as an effective caretaker until the Tories can elect a fresh leader.

Mr Johnson will doubtless say this move is simply following recent political precedents and, on a technical level at least, he is correct.

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Both his predecessor Theresa May and David Cameron remained as Prime Minister until a leadership contest could be concluded.

However, both of these leaders were forced from office purely for political reasons. Mr Cameron had been on the losing side of a referendum he himself had called. Meanwhile Mrs May had lost the faith of her party to deliver Brexit.

The story regarding Mr Johnson is an altogether different matter. In his two-and-a-half-year term in office he has faced multiple scandals that speak to the man he is.

When his political ally Owen Paterson was found to have breached lobbying regulations, Mr Johnson attempted to change the rules to protect him.

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Having lectured the public on the importance of “sticking to the rules” when it came to social distancing guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic, insisting that people might die, widespread flouting of these rules took place under the very roof of the building in which he lived and worked, ultimately leading to him being the first sitting Prime Minister in British history to be convicted of a criminal offence.

And, despite being made aware of extremely serious issues of sexual misconduct concerning Chris Pincher, he appointed him deputy chief whip.

It was the attempted cover up of this latest act of immorality that finally brought the curtain down on Mr Johnson’s cut-too-short Premiership.

Yet, despite his party making it clear that it no longer has confidence in his leadership, he still wants to remain in post until his successor is elected, a process that could take months.

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This cannot be allowed to happen. With each passing day he remains in office he weakens the Tories.

We must also consider the wider political context: Mr Cameron and Mrs May remained in office in relatively peaceful times and did not have to contend with soaring inflation, war in mainland Europe and an economy teetering on the brink of recession.

This last act of arrogance must be cut short, immediately: if Mr Johnson will not resign his post voluntarily then the levers of British politics must enforce it.

Our future credibility rests on this. We need fresh leadership to navigate our way from the stormy waters that threaten us.

Mr Johnson must go: the business of Government must resume. Scandal, sleaze and lies must never be allowed to return.